Best Addition to Denver's Art Scene - 2012
Clyfford Still Museum
Clyfford Still, a pioneer of abstract expressionism and a giant in the history of modern art, died in 1980, leaving behind a will stipulating that his estate, comprising some 94 percent of his life's artistic output, would be given to an American city that would pledge to build a museum to display his work — and nothing else. In 2004, then-mayor John Hickenlooper brought home the bacon when he sweet-talked the artist's widow into selecting Denver as the recipient of Still's posthumous gift. Five years later, construction began on the Clyfford Still Museum, hard against the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building, according to a design by Brad Cloepfil's Allied Works Architecture, and the doors opened this past November. While the exterior is chaste, made up of simple cubic volumes with unexpected cutouts in the grooved cast-in-place concrete walls, the interior is stunning, with these three-dimensional walls providing the perfect counterpoint to Still's utterly flat signature work.